Tiger Mauls Zookeeper

Hirakawa+Zoological+Park%2FKyodo+News+via+AP
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Tiger Mauls Zookeeper

Hirakawa Zoological Park/Kyodo News via AP

Hirakawa Zoological Park/Kyodo News via AP

Hirakawa Zoological Park/Kyodo News via AP

Hirakawa Zoological Park/Kyodo News via AP

Blade Tyrrell, Staff

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On October 8th, a zookeeper was reportedly mauled to death in the tiger enclosure. The victim was 40-year old Akira Furusho, a man living in southern Japan. He was found unconscious and bleeding from his neck at Hirakawa Zoo, Kagoshima. Furusho was moving the tiger from the exhibition to a night-time habitat. Furusho later died at the hospital.

The 375 pound tiger is named Riku. He was tranquilized after the attack, but not put down. Furusho’s family asked the zoo to have mercy on Riku; this is partially due to the fact that Riku is a White tiger, which is a genetic variant of a Bengal tiger.  

The Hirakawa Zoo was open October 9th, but the white tiger exhibit was closed due to the police investigation. Officials are trying to decide whether or not proper safety measures were in place. Autopsy results are pending